Even the best photographers sometimes need to touch up their pictures to get a better-looking image. But for the rest of us digital happy snappers, it’s pretty much a necessity. So how much should you spend on a program that can easily improve your images with just a few clicks? The answer could be nothing at all.
We compared 10 of the most popular free image editors for their capabilities and ease of use to see which might be your best choice for a virtual photo lab. These programs are:
Most people don’t use image-editing software for completely reworking their pictures to create works of art. The common tasks are touching up blemishes, red-eye removal, cropping to a different size and/or shape, straightening and simple adjustments to brightness, contrast and colour. Many also use them for giving old printed photos a new life via scanning and retouching.
While some photo management and cataloguing packages also have limited image-editing capabilities, for Windows we’ve included only stand-alone programs here. These editors can be used in combination with any other software, including digital photo organisers. Four programs on test have Mac versions, and one, iPhoto, also catalogues and organises digital photos. But we’ve included it here because it’s the default digital image-editing program for OS X, included with the operating system.